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Journals

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The lyrics notebook and personal journals of Kurt Cobain, iconic singer of the band Nirvana. Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, The lyrics notebook and personal journals of Kurt Cobain, iconic singer of the band Nirvana. Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, and who was determined to define his place in that history. Here is a mesmerizing, incomparable portrait of the most influential musician of his time.


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The lyrics notebook and personal journals of Kurt Cobain, iconic singer of the band Nirvana. Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, The lyrics notebook and personal journals of Kurt Cobain, iconic singer of the band Nirvana. Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, and who was determined to define his place in that history. Here is a mesmerizing, incomparable portrait of the most influential musician of his time.

30 review for Journals

  1. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    I bought this for my daughter for her birthday as she's a huge fan. I got it for a pretty good deal off of eBay. It is used but in great shape. There's all kinds of things in it drawings, lyrics, letters even recipes and grocery lists. My daughter and I both thought it was pretty cool. Loved the look of it. The Mead spiral notebook cover reminds me of the notebooks I used to have. Apparently the material was originally contained in around 20 different notebooks. There were some very funny notes I bought this for my daughter for her birthday as she's a huge fan. I got it for a pretty good deal off of eBay. It is used but in great shape. There's all kinds of things in it drawings, lyrics, letters even recipes and grocery lists. My daughter and I both thought it was pretty cool. Loved the look of it. The Mead spiral notebook cover reminds me of the notebooks I used to have. Apparently the material was originally contained in around 20 different notebooks. There were some very funny notes and things. But there were also some dark and sad notes that may have been lyrics or just musings. One thing I did find sad was that on the front of it it said "If you read this you'll judge". While it may not be your normal diary or journal (although who's to say what's normal) we get to see many things including some of the thoughts of a sensitive, funny, sometimes angry and extremely talented young man. I didn't know about all of the controversy over it's release when I bought it. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it. However, now I can see how it would bother some. That maybe they should have been kept private and not published. However, apparently there was also another quote he wrote that said "Please read my diary, look through my things, and figure me out." I'm not entirely sure how I feel now. I guess I can understand both sides.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    The fact that this book exists: 1) makes me never want to trust anyone ever ever EVER again. 2) leaves me with even less faith in love than I had before I flipped through it. (Don't worry. I watched Imagine afterward and felt much better.) 3) makes me want to throw up in my mouth a tiny bit. Okay, a lot. Rivers. 4) reminds me that the first time I saw it, it was on a display with a Kurt Cobain action figure. I believe this speaks for itself. 5) makes me want to sock Courtney Love. And I'm non-violen The fact that this book exists: 1) makes me never want to trust anyone ever ever EVER again. 2) leaves me with even less faith in love than I had before I flipped through it. (Don't worry. I watched Imagine afterward and felt much better.) 3) makes me want to throw up in my mouth a tiny bit. Okay, a lot. Rivers. 4) reminds me that the first time I saw it, it was on a display with a Kurt Cobain action figure. I believe this speaks for itself. 5) makes me want to sock Courtney Love. And I'm non-violent in theory! And I generally don't give a shit about celebrities and their problems. 6) tempts me, but not enough to lead me to do anything more than glance through it. I just can't escape the scummy voyeur feeling that creeps all over me when holding it. 7) makes me think "hmmm...if my life centered around a junkie cuntrag, and I was a misunderstood junkie genius, would I load myself up with a triple-whammy dose of heroin and then shoot myself just for good measure? Wouldn't that many opiates make me feel too euphoric to hate myself and want to die?" Or did I... 8) is sheer ickiness. Utter awfulness. Holy shitfuck...YUCK.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Jacquie

    I've been a Nirvana fan since 1993, and after 1994 I collected all the unfortunate articles, magazines, books, and everything you could think of. I was sad, confused, and most of all lost. I still remember 1994 like it was yesterday and it has stayed with me... but life moved on and you either went on or as a few people I've sadly lost, didn't. It stayed with you though, no matter how much you had moved on. It was like a dark spot in the back of my mind that I kept to myself, or only thought abo I've been a Nirvana fan since 1993, and after 1994 I collected all the unfortunate articles, magazines, books, and everything you could think of. I was sad, confused, and most of all lost. I still remember 1994 like it was yesterday and it has stayed with me... but life moved on and you either went on or as a few people I've sadly lost, didn't. It stayed with you though, no matter how much you had moved on. It was like a dark spot in the back of my mind that I kept to myself, or only thought about alone. What am I talking about? JFK's assassination? 911? Tienanmen Square? No, just a guy who happened to be a musician thrown into international spotlight. It all sounds so melodramatic when you really stop and think about it, but for most of us, music exorcises those demons and makes us feel like we're not alone. People can understand John Lennon, but to some Kurt Cobain seems like a curmudgeon (yes, he wrote a song by that title as well) who was unhappy about being a brilliant artist. You could argue if he was brilliant. The point is, many of us felt that he was. Growing up, I was a depressed, often in trouble, and out of control teenager. Music really does calm the savage beast, and it was music I could relate to. "She should have been a son." "I'm on my time, with everyone." "I wish I was like you, easily amused." "I'm not like them, but I can pretend." "I feel stupid and contagious." "Big cheese, make me." "He'll give you breathing holes, and you'll think you're happy." "Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back." "I just tried hard to have a father, but instead I had a dad." "Come, as you are, as you were, as I want you to be. As a friend." "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions." "I'm so happy, 'cause today I found my friends. They're in my head." "The sun is gone, but I have a light." "Can we show our faces now?" Until the internet it was hard to track down new information. It was a thrilling thing to see concerts I'd never have been able to go to on You Tube, obscure home movies, translated foreign magazines, rare pictures that became no longer rare, and of course more unseen interviews from Kurt Cobain himself. My friend and I were awful, we'd scout the libraries and search through 5 years worth of any magazines that might have any pictures back in 1994... and once we even were amused to find the band in scarfs used as dresses in a girl magazine! My ultimate goals were to get the Sassy magazine, and The Advocate issue. We felt like we had found treasure, and we'd hungrily go through more and more magazines searching for something, anything. We'd either check out the magazines.. or rip out the articles. Awful, I know, and now I did it, yes I feel bad. I still have ever single one of those clippings in a very safe spot in a huge photo album. Now I realize how selfish I was, driven by that feeling of trying to find more, to try and understand this person who had been the first "celebrity" who had ever become an unintentional spokesperson for himself and people like us. We we're poor, weird, dysfunctional, unhappy with the present, dreading a future that seemed so distant from that of our parents, and we did not want to go along with it. For once, it felt like it was okay. As I was diagnosed bipolar, it seemed okay because so many other awesome people had been too - including Kurt Cobain. I don't plan to die, but it shows that even the darkest pit of depression, you can emerge and create something better than you feel about yourself. I began to no longer feel ashamed. Not long after his death, Fender released the guitar design he made himself, the Jagstang -- a hybrid of Fender's Jaguar and Mustang guitars. Being a guitar player, I felt like that was the perfect permanent tribute and it became one of my all time favorite presents from my parents. I picked up the guitar because I wanted to learn Nirvana songs, pausing Nirvana Unplugged, and asking my dad if he could make out that one chord... but I settled for my dad teaching me "Smoke on the Water" and "Stairway to Heaven". Then I taught myself tabs, and I opened the code to play any Nirvana song I liked. The guitar is dusty, protected, and put aside so I could work towards school and a career. Time moved on, Nirvana stayed my favorite band, but I ceased to talk about them as feverishly as I once did. My old friends often ask "You still like Nirvana?" and the answer is of course, I will always love Nirvana. They'll always be my favorite band. But talking about his ghost seemed overkill. Others would spend their lives creating a shrine to his memory, I kept a candle lit, but I needed to make something of my life besides being a die hard fan. I'd be on a trip to Universal Studios with my boyfriend, and I remember staring in shock as I was eye level with a Kurt Cobain plastic figurine. Kurt Cobain plastic figurines, Kurt Cobain in guitar hero, Kurt Cobain lunch boxes, Kurt Cobain replica shoes... I felt very mixed. I understand some wanting to grab more pieces of a too short puzzle with missing pieces, but I could never bring myself to buy these things. I noticed for the first time, this is what people my age did with people like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, etc. People who didn't live through Nirvana grabbed onto these things and it was their way for owning a piece of a time they came after. When Journals was released, everyone came at me with offers to get it for me or push me to buy it... I couldn't. People from all backgrounds were reading it, and most had nothing but positive things to say. People who had known I was a Nirvana for such a long time, would come to me and say they understood exactly what it was that was special -- but nameless. Endless Namless. It just felt strange, and I realized how ironic it was that now after all these years of scavenging, I could have the biggest piece of all... and I was scared to read it. These were his private thoughts, his notebooks left on the very coffee table in his own house. He used to yell at his wife not to look. The very cover said "If you read you'll judge." They contained his hopes, fears, anger, and view of the world. Maybe he wouldn't have liked this? Maybe this is the corporate sell out he had always worried about, like he feared with using his songs for deodorant commercials. Should I read it? Should I buy it? I loved Nirvana, and I loved reading, but every time I'd walk into a book store, I'd go out of my way to purposely find it just to read the title on the spine and keep walking. Come As You Are by Azzerad I read, the band endorsed it, they worked along with the author and said what they wanted to put in it. I had the book before the additional epilogue, and I eventually picked up the unfortunately completed, final edition. It was really the only book I read besides picking up picture books, and then came the nauseating books on murder theories and the most biographical post-94 was too Courtney Love influenced. Years later, my BFF told me he received Journals as a birthday present, and while he was grateful his first instinct was to give it to me. He'd browsed through it, smoking and turning the pages (It still stinks like cigarettes). First though, he actually read it. He was touched and saw so much he understood, and so much he didn't. He told me it changed his view on anything he'd ever thought or known about Kurt Cobain. He wasn't into celebrities, neither was I until Nirvana, and he liked music and movies, but he didn't buy into people. I never usually did either, but Kurt Cobain was the only exception. One day, my BFF came over and ambushed me with the book. I was thankful, but when he left I placed it on a shelf. It took a long time before I pulled it out and read it. "Don't read or you'll judge". It was hard to turn the pages, but harder not to. I'd even heard that he was protective of these notebooks, and that he would get angry at his wife if she even looked at them without his knowledge. What was the big deal, right? That is what most people think, and I don't know if it was respect for the dead or respect for privacy... I don't know what it was, but it felt wrong. I also wondered what was left out, what was added. Then I opened the book. I devoured the pages and my eyes noticed every way he wrote certain letters, drew certain people, wrote what seemed to be lyrical nonsense, and then statements that contained a Pandora's box of ideas once understood. Once you understood, REALLY understood, there was no denying those feelings anymore. Leonardo Di Vinci revolutionized the world with many things through sketches he never intended the public to read, and for some people, Kurt Cobain revolutionized an ideology that some of us held and thought, except it seemed some how that we were okay with the way we felt. Someone else felt that way too, and someone else who read this book felt that way, and someone else, and so did he. In being such a lonely self-proclaimed curmudgeon, his lonely lines made me feel more connected. We're not alone. Some of us are afflicted with depression, we isolate ourselves from a world we don't understand and a world we feel doesn't understand us, and for some, our depression is a consequence of the world around us. We were not alone with these thoughts. There are many things that came out of this, but for the ones who don't understand -- they'll see it as a road map to destruction. Instead, I think hope and destruction are separated by a thin line, and those of us so possessed with the weight of things in the world, we often find our way or fall. I don't think there is one person more deserving to live or more special than another, and I still don't. There are some people that came and left a mark and happened to reach a large number of people either intentionally or not, and Kurt Cobain was one of these people. Every generation has one, and we all cling to them in hope that they'll show us a way through this mess called life. But in the end, the only answer is this: there is no answer. We have to make one for ourselves, and I think that was what Kurt Cobain was trying to do and trying to say. He walked a very thin tight rope, and sometimes you have to in order to confront the demons that plague you, real or imaginary that result from the world and yourself. It's a code. You'll either read it and understand or relate, or shake your head wondering how so many people could like someone who could take their own life after hitting the top for a couple of years and disappearing forever. Perhaps you think their music sounds the same, another rock band, another generation. In trying to understand ourselves, our generation also alienates our parents because they don't understand. We don't understand them. Are we supposed to? Journals is a collection of chosen pieces put together of someones work. That someone couldn't carry the weight, but he helped make a path for some of us to make sense of how hard it can be, but we have to walk the path and ask our own questions and find our own answers. Sadly, he died trying.

  4. 5 out of 5

    F

    Very personal notes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    I found this at my local library sale this past summer, read it through, and in the process thought I would give it to Jessie Ann Foley, author of Carnival at Bray, which features a concert with Nirvana, and for which Cobain's spirit seems central. Nineties grunge rock. This volume is a facsimile of Cobain's actual journals and notebooks and unsent letters. I, an old folkie, preceded Nirvana by a long shot, but I was smart enough to know what he represented to the young people of his generation, I found this at my local library sale this past summer, read it through, and in the process thought I would give it to Jessie Ann Foley, author of Carnival at Bray, which features a concert with Nirvana, and for which Cobain's spirit seems central. Nineties grunge rock. This volume is a facsimile of Cobain's actual journals and notebooks and unsent letters. I, an old folkie, preceded Nirvana by a long shot, but I was smart enough to know what he represented to the young people of his generation, and I own some of his music. If you are a Nirvana fan, this seems like a must-have. Oh, yeah, I gave it to Jessie for coming to my YA class!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Horace Derwent

    give me leonard cohen's after world, i have very bad postures if there's no such things as those beautiful corpses, then how can we witness the magnificent lights of Rock n' Roll without stepping on them?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Scarlet Cameo

    "It's hard to decipter the difference between a sincere entertainer and a honest swindler" Kurt Cobain, the one who change a generation and transcended the dead...was a really complex man. He saw his live in a really dark and sad way, but at the same time, somehow, he was positive about the future, but the world turned his back. Are two things about this book, first isn't exactly a journal, in fact there are letters and excerpts from the actual diary, but not complete. This is bad? No, i feel a "It's hard to decipter the difference between a sincere entertainer and a honest swindler" Kurt Cobain, the one who change a generation and transcended the dead...was a really complex man. He saw his live in a really dark and sad way, but at the same time, somehow, he was positive about the future, but the world turned his back. Are two things about this book, first isn't exactly a journal, in fact there are letters and excerpts from the actual diary, but not complete. This is bad? No, i feel a little guilty when i start this...but then he said "Please, read my diary. Look through my things and figure me out" and that feeling gets a little lower (I know, it's a excuse) but when i saw that some parts aren't here i don't know if i was grateful (because i wasn't be sooooo gossiping) or angry (because i didn't have all the true...and Cobain hates that), honestly my awareness told me "choose the first one". When i took that decision i read a honest vision of the world,the music business and a little about Nirvana, but mostly the way he saw himself, he was a outcast, that connects and created music to othersoutcast and never stop feeling this way. Wasn't a happy person, wasn't a bad person either just was a incredible talent person who introduces himself like a new voice that wasn't wanna be ear. Would i recommend this book? I don't know, reading it is like predict a fall and couldn't do anything to avoid it. From language to handwriting, everything indicates that something is changing, it becomes more frantic and chaotic maelstrom that drags you into the abyss does nothing but grow, but some of the things he talks about are amazing, everyone should listen/read it or spend a little of time trying to descifrate the pictures meaning.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meggan

    0/5. I just don't understand this Cobain guy. He slams his Mead "The Spiral" notebook on a scanner bed, collects a check, and calls it a day. Not even inviting a pompous rock journalist to write an introduction. How am I supposed to know what he means by "THE OLD SCHOOL IS GOING DOWN FAST, FUCK FACE" without Kurt Loder voice overs to interpret for me? I sorta sense that he is angry at baby boomers. But I don't know why. What's wrong with recycling "Louie Louie" and "GeeEllOhArEyeAa" over and ove 0/5. I just don't understand this Cobain guy. He slams his Mead "The Spiral" notebook on a scanner bed, collects a check, and calls it a day. Not even inviting a pompous rock journalist to write an introduction. How am I supposed to know what he means by "THE OLD SCHOOL IS GOING DOWN FAST, FUCK FACE" without Kurt Loder voice overs to interpret for me? I sorta sense that he is angry at baby boomers. But I don't know why. What's wrong with recycling "Louie Louie" and "GeeEllOhArEyeAa" over and over again in their jammin' boomer songs? Hardly a reason to get your flannel in a twist, dude! Manly men also irritate Cobain, which means he must be some kind of feminist fairy. I know that Paglia lady saw his tiny emaciated body on stage and "worried for the future of rock music." I worry too. Real rock needs more costume changes, thrusting Robert Plant chests, and blue-jeaned Bruce Springsteen asses. The only way you're gonna enjoy this book is if you like people who had fresh ideas for their time, who troll corporate music tragically hard, who ponder the nature and purpose of art, who aren't afraid to hide their emotions, and who use every ounce of their 10th grade education to royally fuck up some bullshit.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ettore Pasquini

    Well, as I expected I felt pretty dirty reading these diaries. Not as bad as watching the Montage of Heck garbage though: the hand-writing at least connects you to a form of reality. 'Cause let's not forget that "Cobain was a master at jerking your chain". In any case, this book is for die-hard fans only: it's a non-book with a young man's private notes, including a few letters to some of his friends, drawings, lyrics, plus one or two interesting reflections about drug usage. Cobain's drive and d Well, as I expected I felt pretty dirty reading these diaries. Not as bad as watching the Montage of Heck garbage though: the hand-writing at least connects you to a form of reality. 'Cause let's not forget that "Cobain was a master at jerking your chain". In any case, this book is for die-hard fans only: it's a non-book with a young man's private notes, including a few letters to some of his friends, drawings, lyrics, plus one or two interesting reflections about drug usage. Cobain's drive and dedication to create something meaningful permeate these notes. For me that's the main value of this thing: it can be inspiring. "Any band that wants to go anywhere should practice at least 5 times a week.” This quote was from a letter to a drummer they fired because he couldn't practice enough: so much for the slacker ethos. Even when he’s extremely high and rambling a lot, you can feel, almost smell that single focus, the north star that pulled him forward, up and down. The pen can blacken the paper or faint away, and some pages can be hard to read, but you can see the continuous machinations about the craft, the music, the visuals, the band. If the songs had not been enough, here you can understand how Nirvana was the quintessential punk band, more than any other rationalization. Other things that come out are the contradictions. From “taking the greatest responsibility” of having a child to being addicted to drugs, to the blatant one on the first page: "Don't read my diary when I'm away. Please read my diary And figure me out" Someone (was it Kim Gordon? I'm not 100% sure) said that only Nirvana were able to use a cheesy guitar chorus effect and actually get away with it without sounding corny. That’s one way to describe the mystery and aura that always surrounded them. For as long as I’ve known them I’ve asked myself, “Why them?” Well, this is it; quite simply, the intensity and the conscious focus (beside the talent, of course) set them apart and allowed those songs to blast out.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Conrad Zero

    Have you ever seen a 'serial killer' movie when they find the secret hideout of the bad guy, and inevitibly there are newspaper clippings tacked to the walls, drawings, quotes, pictures, etc... Well, cross that with your High School Underground Notebook and you have Kurt Cobain's Journals. It's full of doodles, sketches, and lyric work on Nirvana songs. It also has drafts of concert fliers, notes to friends and some diary entries and rants. This was one of many journals made by Kurt Cobain, but Have you ever seen a 'serial killer' movie when they find the secret hideout of the bad guy, and inevitibly there are newspaper clippings tacked to the walls, drawings, quotes, pictures, etc... Well, cross that with your High School Underground Notebook and you have Kurt Cobain's Journals. It's full of doodles, sketches, and lyric work on Nirvana songs. It also has drafts of concert fliers, notes to friends and some diary entries and rants. This was one of many journals made by Kurt Cobain, but many of them were accidentally destroyed. (Water-damaged in a Paris hotel bathtub if I remember correctly.) This particular journal covers the period around the Bleach album and the beginning of writing some songs that would later appear on Nevermind. I like that there was no editing (well, that we know of. There may have been some pages removed) but the writing that IS there was uninhibited. As they said in the movie Seven, "...his mind just poured out on paper." If you keep a journal yourself or if you are interested at peering inside the head of a musical genius, and if you are fan enough of Nirvana to own Bleach, then you should at least flip through Kurt Cobain's Journals. -Conrad Zero

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sunil

    Though the book is a capitalistic marketing of an icon I could not resist buying it. I wanted to know if he was the same person I had reckoned him to be through his songs. When I finished the book , I had realised how incredibly daft and supremely beautiful was his passion for music. The book is an excellent journey of affect through passion and how it burns you out if left on its own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lotus

    The low rating is NOT due to the journals content (how can you rate something like someone's journals anyhow?!) but more so to the fact that I didn't feel good about reading someones personal thoughts not meant to be shared. I also suspect I likely would have enjoyed this a lot more back in the 80's. I finally decided to get this out at the library out of curiosity I guess but now wish that I hadn't...I mostly skimmed it, read a bit of it more in depth but it just seemed really so very personal a The low rating is NOT due to the journals content (how can you rate something like someone's journals anyhow?!) but more so to the fact that I didn't feel good about reading someones personal thoughts not meant to be shared. I also suspect I likely would have enjoyed this a lot more back in the 80's. I finally decided to get this out at the library out of curiosity I guess but now wish that I hadn't...I mostly skimmed it, read a bit of it more in depth but it just seemed really so very personal and made me feel uncomfortable, like snooping would. I cant imagine Kurt would have been the least bit happy about this being shared with the public when he was known to be such a private person. I did enjoy very much how he liked to scrawl recipes down next to the lyrics, stories, comics and endless lists! 3 cups quick oats large bowl in saucepan 2 sticks butter 1/3 cup milk 2 cups sugar 3 tbs cocoa 1/4 salt 2 tsp vanilla extract rolling boil 2 minutes pour over oats stir until they set wax paper Ha! I know this recipe!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    other people do save the world in 3 hours - I've read the whole book. Kurt Cobain was such a inspiring personality, I couldn't stop reading through his journals and his thoughts and stories and ideas. he was just brilliant

  14. 4 out of 5

    Udai

    Oh god I feel like a nosy creep after reading someone else's journals If someone went through my stuff I'd kill the person in a very slow, painful way But this is Kurt and man oh man he really wasn't made for this world I really enjoyed discovering that we had a lot of thoughts in common I looooved his feminist rants his Ideas about journalism and the media about mainstream stuff and companies and governments and most important of all about punk rock I love Nirvana and I love Kurt and the only reason I d Oh god I feel like a nosy creep after reading someone else's journals If someone went through my stuff I'd kill the person in a very slow, painful way But this is Kurt and man oh man he really wasn't made for this world I really enjoyed discovering that we had a lot of thoughts in common I looooved his feminist rants his Ideas about journalism and the media about mainstream stuff and companies and governments and most important of all about punk rock I love Nirvana and I love Kurt and the only reason I didn't give this the fifth star is because it's wrong to publish someone's journal I LOVE IT!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Dalo

    Instead going into a review of Nirvana, let me just stick to reviewing these journals themselves. They are the legitimate journals of the late Kurt Cobain, and also included are various drawings, lyrics of his, and letters he wrote to other people. All of these are scanned up so that you see the original pages as they were. The first thing I want to mention are how private they feel, and how you almost feel guilty for peeking into them. Even the front of his notebook says, “If you read you’ll ju Instead going into a review of Nirvana, let me just stick to reviewing these journals themselves. They are the legitimate journals of the late Kurt Cobain, and also included are various drawings, lyrics of his, and letters he wrote to other people. All of these are scanned up so that you see the original pages as they were. The first thing I want to mention are how private they feel, and how you almost feel guilty for peeking into them. Even the front of his notebook says, “If you read you’ll judge.” There is a full spectrum of topics included in his journals, and it can go from boring to incredibly beautiful, from happy to sad, and everything in between. If you’re a music fan, a Nirvana/Kurt fan, this book will definitely interest you. I learned a lot about Kurt and Nirvana through it. For example, I had no idea that Kurt had a seriously painful stomach condition that couldn’t be cured and made his life absolutely miserable (and led to further heroin use as it was the only thing that could take some of the pain away.) I had been listening to Nirvana’s Greatest Hits while I read, and also watching videos of his interviews and them playing live, so my life was Kurt Cobain/Nirvana for a couple of weeks. And I remember, when I got to the very end of the book, I read his suicide note. I was at home alone and it was night, and this book makes who he was so tangible, that I got spooked out a little as if he was standing there in the room with me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Reading Kurt Cobain's Journals is a fast track into the mind of the deceased rockstar himself. As someone who was born only a few years before Cobain died, I didn't grow up with Nirvana woven into the fabric of my youth, but I've grown to appreciate their grunge fuck-it-allness over time. Somewhat surprisingly, the biggest thing I got out of the Journals was a sense of Cobain's business mind and commitment to his music. There are a lot of talented, innovative musicians out there, but nothing big Reading Kurt Cobain's Journals is a fast track into the mind of the deceased rockstar himself. As someone who was born only a few years before Cobain died, I didn't grow up with Nirvana woven into the fabric of my youth, but I've grown to appreciate their grunge fuck-it-allness over time. Somewhat surprisingly, the biggest thing I got out of the Journals was a sense of Cobain's business mind and commitment to his music. There are a lot of talented, innovative musicians out there, but nothing big really happens without the kind of perseverance Cobain had. He spent shit tons of his own money and time creating and promoting his music, and he had a vision he believed in so strongly that his hard work got him to the top. His Journals are really beautiful- tons of lyrics, letters, basic journal entries, a few recipes, random notes... not only band stuff, but anything that was going on in his life (although Nirvana had to be the predominant thing). Although there was this gritty, fuck-you exterior (and interior), he was still a pretty lovable guy, for whatever reason- at least, I think so. I didn't have any issues of privacy or intrusion like some other readers have experienced- I feel like most any posthumous publication is fair game.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hadeer

    I'm not really into reading autobiographies of musicians specially if it's the personal thoughts of a dead man who didn't want it to be published .. But my curiosity let me get over the remorse of conscious .. In the first pages the book describes the early beginnings of nirvana .. to the prime of their glory days It also shows the overwhelming influence of heroine over Kurt's life , music and mental health and how his drug addiction was enhanced by his stomach condition .. He wasn't one of thes I'm not really into reading autobiographies of musicians specially if it's the personal thoughts of a dead man who didn't want it to be published .. But my curiosity let me get over the remorse of conscious .. In the first pages the book describes the early beginnings of nirvana .. to the prime of their glory days It also shows the overwhelming influence of heroine over Kurt's life , music and mental health and how his drug addiction was enhanced by his stomach condition .. He wasn't one of these morons who go barging about their drug use .. he was literally pushed in to using heroine as an analgesic ... the handwriting gets really shaky and erratic at some pages I loved the doodles and the sketches .. Kurt could actually draw !! You could also see an evident signs of depression and self-destruction and moreover you could feel his guilt !! he apparently hated himself for being a famous .. and for the misintroduction of the band to the public He was a legend .. and he will be missed RIP

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris Freeman

    Ok when i first heard about this, I thought it was a cheap pandering to the fan-boys. But it is totally worth it. It's more than just scrawled song lyrics. It's really pretty intimate. The voice of a generation was just as confused as the rest of us. I guess we knew that already, but here are the details.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Somya

    This was a gift to me by my best friend on my 18th birthday. I'll always remember that insignificant birthday because of her.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marck Rimorin

    Reading someone's diary will always be an uncomfortable thing, especially if that person is an icon of a generation who is a study in self-destruction. For those of us who know Kurt Cobain's story, we know the elements of depression that came with his ultimate fate: despondency, drug addiction, the ups and downs with life in love and life on the road with one of the world's most phenomenally successful bands. Yet these journals—written in Kurt's own hand—show that story from Kurt's very own eyes Reading someone's diary will always be an uncomfortable thing, especially if that person is an icon of a generation who is a study in self-destruction. For those of us who know Kurt Cobain's story, we know the elements of depression that came with his ultimate fate: despondency, drug addiction, the ups and downs with life in love and life on the road with one of the world's most phenomenally successful bands. Yet these journals—written in Kurt's own hand—show that story from Kurt's very own eyes. It's a fascinating read (the clippings and typewritten pages and notebook entries make the act of reading it quite challenging), but kind of voyeuristic, too. Still, if you're like me and you're marked by the music of Nirvana, this should be something special. 5/5.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This is a lower rating simply because I don't really know how to rate it. Yes, I bought this book because I am a HUGE Nirvana fan. Yes, I bought it back in my early teenage years where I was mildly (ok, maybe unhealthily) obsessed with Kurt Cobain. Now it just feels dirty and wrong to read it. Needless to say, I don't have this one displayed out in the open on my bookshelves. Respect for Kurt.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    Perhaps Kurt is so fascinating -besides his early death which people love to romanticise- because he was so complex and didn't fear showing it. I love trying to decipher his, sometimes rather obscure, song lyrics. Whether I completely understand what he was trying to say doesn't matter as long as his writing resonates with me but it is interesting to look into it. If this book gave me one thing it is references of his. What he liked ( music related and otherwise) and some of his thought/work proce Perhaps Kurt is so fascinating -besides his early death which people love to romanticise- because he was so complex and didn't fear showing it. I love trying to decipher his, sometimes rather obscure, song lyrics. Whether I completely understand what he was trying to say doesn't matter as long as his writing resonates with me but it is interesting to look into it. If this book gave me one thing it is references of his. What he liked ( music related and otherwise) and some of his thought/work process. How much he wrote and re-wrote his poetry before it looked anything like the final products, ready to be shared with the world. I would only recommend this to serious fans. It doesn't feel like anything whole, just bits and pieces stuck together in some sort of linear order, but it is hard to find a connection between the diary entries -far from daily-, the think pieces, the unsent letters, comics and other drawings. If you want to know more about his personal life, this may not be for you. Anger and depression are present and even palpable throughout almost the entire book. (No trigger warning of such but read with caution). It felt very voyeuristic to read such intimate thoughts, almost wrong.. Whether it is moral to read his diary entries now that he has passed and isn't here to say whether he minds or not is debatable but it is for me, a great addition to all I already knew about the man. It's a book to further feed your curiosity about the icon he became, but mostly to give you a larger understanding on where he stood in his beliefs in life (the diary is full of political talk and music industry bashing). I probably would have loved this even more had I read it in my teens. Still a worthwhile purchase in my opinion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    MissFAYZ

    I am a huge Nirvana fan although I was born 5 years after Kurts suicide. It was really amazing to see how "normal" Kurt was and that he sometimes lied to himself or felt mistreated as he got ripped apart by journalists trying to keep him in the spot light. You also follow a man, who at first did what he loved and slowly found the flaws in the industry and the burden that taggs along with fame. I found a lot of parallels between his thoughts and his way of expressing them and mine. He wrote when h I am a huge Nirvana fan although I was born 5 years after Kurts suicide. It was really amazing to see how "normal" Kurt was and that he sometimes lied to himself or felt mistreated as he got ripped apart by journalists trying to keep him in the spot light. You also follow a man, who at first did what he loved and slowly found the flaws in the industry and the burden that taggs along with fame. I found a lot of parallels between his thoughts and his way of expressing them and mine. He wrote when he felt like it without rereading the words he scratched into the paper, what really makes you feel close to his world. All in all I adore this man (with massive amounts of flaws) and his basic idea what music and art are supposed to be and that sexism completly sucks.

  24. 4 out of 5

    stupidus

    Kurt apparently never wanted to see his journals to be published. Then again the man was a walking contradiction. Be that as it may, "Journals" offer an insight to Kurt's world. ( Besides, an asshole who shoots himself in the head, leaving behind a daughter and a wife, not to mention band members and other friends, has no moral rights to make any demands as far as I'm concerned. ) Still, it's assuring to know that like most lyricists/poets Kurt honed his lyrics too. In 99 cases out of 100, they al Kurt apparently never wanted to see his journals to be published. Then again the man was a walking contradiction. Be that as it may, "Journals" offer an insight to Kurt's world. ( Besides, an asshole who shoots himself in the head, leaving behind a daughter and a wife, not to mention band members and other friends, has no moral rights to make any demands as far as I'm concerned. ) Still, it's assuring to know that like most lyricists/poets Kurt honed his lyrics too. In 99 cases out of 100, they all do. Many artists (especially when they are young) find it extremely hard if entirely impossible to "kill their darlings". Kurt had a tendency to make numerous alternative versions of his songs - lyrics-wise. Why? Because he took his writing seriously. I mean J-F-C, the man even made it his business to see one his favorite living authors (Burroughs) while on a tour, possible high as fuck, not because he had anything worthwhile to say to the man, but because he wanted to see him. Pay homage. Do what fans the world over do at the present of their gods: gawk at them and generally stupidify themselves to a level of pure and utter retardedness. Burroughs later recalled that he mostly kept wondering what this guy was moaning about - that he seemed to have no reason to be mad/sad at all. I say: touché. Another case: after having performed MTV's Unplugged in New York (while externally expressing uncomfortability, rejection and even hostility against performing at all), Kurt, after being congratulated for the show in the backstage, allegedly responded, smilingly: "Yeah, I was f*cking good - wasn't I?" It's the stuff of the legends how "geniuses" seem to put little or no effort at all to perform their magick. Silly fans (which rarely even exclude other band members) and other "myth builders" always assume - incorrectly - that when they see a lyricist scribbling notes at the "last minute", it must mean s/he wrote it down there and then. I'm never buying that explanation (other than in cases where the lyrics in question truly show no higher merit), and since I can't be proven wrong anyways, I'm calling bullshit here as well. People like to quote Cobain as having said that music always comes first, and lyrics second. Just as they love refuting other people's interpretation of songs saying: "That's not what it means, Kurt said it was just about his pet turtle (see: "Sappy")!" After which they beg people to stop overanalyzing things because it's probably in every way imaginable filthy, insulting and just plain wrong. Then they ask you to leave Kcurdt's music alone and his spirit in peace so he can finally do whatever it is that they do with the angels in Heaven. At least this is my experience how these tirades tend to go, YMMV. I challenge you, dear reader, to find another successful - or even semi-successful - singer-songwriter who operates in pop/rock music genre who wouldn't in effect agree with this Cobain's "original" notion. That's simply the nature of the whole game, my dear confused friend. If you had ever taken the time to try and write a pop/rock song that you could honestly expect someone else than just you to enjoy too, you'd know all this already. My educated guess is that most of the people who are taken for a ride are the same people who have no personal experiences of what it is to write a piece of pop/rock music (that is lyrics driven). As a sidenote, one of the reasons why we tend to have more and more electronic music is probably because people a) can no longer be bothered to actually learn to play an instrument (if you can't simply spin it, scratch it or push buttons), and because they b) no longer even see the point of writing lyrics at all because they don't even bother to pretend like they had something to say - let alone something that's worth saying. Sure, there are artists who categorically refuse to touch their original lyrics, but in 99 cases out of 100, we don't know about them. They exist, just not on the airwaves. Anybody who writes half-decent lyrics/poems, knows it's more of a on-going process than a case of sitting down and putting pen on paper. Of course it can be done. It's just a rare oddity that it would actually bear much fruit. In case you have trouble reading between the lines, I'll be more blunt: Cobain was a great lyricist. He was witty, funny, poignant, endearing and cryptic - often in the same song. Yes, I miss Kurt's energy, charisma and knack for writing catchy songs. I fail to see who could replace the man in the contemporary pop/rock music scene. Jarvis Cocker was incredible in "Different Class" (1995), Thom Yorke in "OK Computer" (1997) and Beck in "Mutations" (1998), but pray, tell me what has come since? Nada, as far as I'm aware.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan Larson

    “Don’t read my diary when I’m gone OK, Im going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out.” How do you rate someone’s journals? They are a collection of whirling, sporadic, private thoughts of an individual - I don’t think you can rate something like that. This was an interesting read. This book is made up of diary entries, letters, notes, lyrics, poetry, and drawings that come directly from Kurt’s spiral bound notebooks. The cover “Don’t read my diary when I’m gone OK, Im going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out.” How do you rate someone’s journals? They are a collection of whirling, sporadic, private thoughts of an individual - I don’t think you can rate something like that. This was an interesting read. This book is made up of diary entries, letters, notes, lyrics, poetry, and drawings that come directly from Kurt’s spiral bound notebooks. The cover reads, “If you read, you’ll judge.” From reading this, you find out that Kurt had a lot of problems with how he was portrayed in the media - how he would give an in-depth 2 hour interview, but what ended up being released would be a quote that would be taken out of context - he felt he was not portrayed truthfully, and this lead to the masses judging him based on out of context or incomplete information. He mentions again and again that “I am not a junkie,” but unfortunately this was (and still is) at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds when Kurt Cobain is mentioned. Reading his own words, you’ll judge based off of his truth, rather than the perception that has permeated pop culture. I think he would prefer that. There is controversy surrounding this book, and I understand why. It is a collection of writings from what were Kurt’s private journals. Kurt has almost become mythic to some, and the publication of what were his personal journals seems disrespectful and an invasion of his private life. It also can seem like a cash grab since he has taken on this myth of the tragic rock star, and Nirvana was such a successful band. While one end of the spectrum holds him up as mythic, the other side paints him as a one dimensional junkie who screamed into a microphone. These journals reveal a person who believed hard work was necessary to achieve success (“You must practice 5 hours a day if you’re going to make it”), who loved his daughter, who was sensitive, who held strong political beliefs, and cared about those who do not fit society’s status quo. I think the problem sometimes is that it’s so easy to paint people like Kurt, Amy Winehouse, or Janis Joplin as simply drug addicts and nothing more; that’s like throwing a person away into the trash. I think that’s wrong. These are human beings and they should be treated as such, even after they’re gone. I think reading these journals provides a deeper insight into Kurt Cobain. You might not like what he has to say or the music he created, but there’s no denying that he was a complex person with a lot to say. Try to figure him out.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Pietro

    I had very mixed feeling about this book. Yes they are Kurt Cobain's personal journals that shouldn't be read but he stated in his journal "Don't read my diary when I'm gone. OK, I'm going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out." So part of me says yes its okay to read them but the other part says stay back they are his personal thoughts. However anyone who keeps a diary knows one day when they are gone their diary will be read I had very mixed feeling about this book. Yes they are Kurt Cobain's personal journals that shouldn't be read but he stated in his journal "Don't read my diary when I'm gone. OK, I'm going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out." So part of me says yes its okay to read them but the other part says stay back they are his personal thoughts. However anyone who keeps a diary knows one day when they are gone their diary will be read. They want you to read them or they wouldn't keep such intimate thoughts on paper. The journals are filled with music lyrics, doodles, layouts for music videos, letters to friends, list of his favorite bangs, and deep reflection about life, music, and his drug problems. I was hopping to find out a different side of Kurt but didn't come close to learning much more then I all ready knew. Okay I take that back, I learned he can draw like a master, his doodles were very original and creepy, he's a great poet and can write great lyrics, we have many favorite bands in common, and well he loves his daughter more then anything and wants to be there for her. That brings me to the whole realization of why would he off himself at such a young age if his life wasn't complete. He did write, "Hope I die before I turn into Pete Townshend." That doesn't mean he wants to kill himself. He didn't sound sad or confused in his writing. He was a drug addict and that could change your perspective on life. However he states he only used once in a while only to help his stomach ulcers. I am one of those believers that Courtney had something to do with his death. You can't find any facts in the book but you can just tell with his writing he doesn't mean harm. All in all this was a good read. Different in the way each page was his personal handwriting. Parts were difficult to read cause his handwriting was scribble. Could be cause of the drugs or he just had so much on his mind he had to write it as quick as he could think? I never was a big Nirvana fan and this book hasn't changed my mind in the way I feel. This book was a very offbeat anthology.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    Journals is all about Kurt Cobain and his life before and during Nirvana. Throughout the book are drawings and song lyrics and just simple journal entries by Kurt. There's everything from band drama to song titles and album art and t-shirt graphics. There are also some really deep things about Kurt and his past that showed good things and bad. After reading "Journals" I got a really good look into Kurt's views and ideas. He had many views against racism and was pro equality. He was also a very ta Journals is all about Kurt Cobain and his life before and during Nirvana. Throughout the book are drawings and song lyrics and just simple journal entries by Kurt. There's everything from band drama to song titles and album art and t-shirt graphics. There are also some really deep things about Kurt and his past that showed good things and bad. After reading "Journals" I got a really good look into Kurt's views and ideas. He had many views against racism and was pro equality. He was also a very talented artist in my opinion. there are tons of drawings of guitars and comic strips and just doodles that really showed how he felt at moments and how excited or mad or stressed he was. The book also showed a little of life inside Nirvana which was really interesting for me, because they were a really good band in my eyes. There were pages full of song lyrics and ideas that later became huge songs by them. It was also really interesting seeing the darker side of Kurt and his childhood. He seemed very disturbed at times and depressed. There were a lot of drugs involved and thoughts of suicide from the very beginning. But there were good things too like his excitement for the band and getting it up and running. All in all this is a must read if you like Kurt Cobain/Nirvana.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    Kurt had really shit handwriting, I gotta say. It was really sad to see how his entries grew more cynical through the duration of the Journals. Sometimes I found the entries/Kurt's thoughts a little hard to follow (this is partially due to the occasionally illegible handwriting) but nonetheless I still thought that this was an enjoyable, insightful, and very interesting read. It was so personal and REAL. It seems a little bit wrong to rate somebody's personal journals on a 5-star-scale, but what Kurt had really shit handwriting, I gotta say. It was really sad to see how his entries grew more cynical through the duration of the Journals. Sometimes I found the entries/Kurt's thoughts a little hard to follow (this is partially due to the occasionally illegible handwriting) but nonetheless I still thought that this was an enjoyable, insightful, and very interesting read. It was so personal and REAL. It seems a little bit wrong to rate somebody's personal journals on a 5-star-scale, but whatever. I'm not too ill-at-ease morally. I would like to give this five stars, however, it all felt a bit pointless in the end. Hear me out, I know it's some guy's journals and a peek into his private thoughts and all that, and not a fictional novel with a plot and a storyline, but really all this book is is a collection of seemingly random letter drafts and journal entries. It didn't lead up to anything final. And no, for any of you sickos out there (like myself) who are wondering if the book ends with the publication of Kurt's suicide note, it does not. I don't regret reading this book or owning it. It will for sure be a coffee table book when I have a house and a coffee table. Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge: A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dick Baldwin

    Mildly interesting, but mostly incredibly annoying. The only thing I found interesting were the lists of records and bands that he liked. I had read reprinted versions of most of the letters in the Charles Cross biography, or those probably would have been more interesting. His pseudo political rants / temper tantrums were really tedious. I don't want to get on a soapbox about the issue of whether or not these were meant to be read by fans. But, since it's been released, and I've read it, I'll s Mildly interesting, but mostly incredibly annoying. The only thing I found interesting were the lists of records and bands that he liked. I had read reprinted versions of most of the letters in the Charles Cross biography, or those probably would have been more interesting. His pseudo political rants / temper tantrums were really tedious. I don't want to get on a soapbox about the issue of whether or not these were meant to be read by fans. But, since it's been released, and I've read it, I'll say that I wish that it were more insightful. Or, if this does offer true insight into Kurt's real personality, then I wish he hadn't been more interested in spewing rhetoric about how we should all "assassinate the lesser and greater of two evils," but do nothing about it himself. Though, I suspect that his journals were edited to include a lot of these rants intentionally. Which I don't understand.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Passant Lotfy

    Okay, just to be clear I felt like an immoral bastard while reading these journals but then again "Don't read my diary when I'm gone. OK, I'm going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out." So part of me said yes its okay to read them but the other part said stay back they are his personal thoughts, idk Anyways, I found this incredible, his thoughts about sexism, rape and racism, media, politics along with everything else fascina Okay, just to be clear I felt like an immoral bastard while reading these journals but then again "Don't read my diary when I'm gone. OK, I'm going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out." So part of me said yes its okay to read them but the other part said stay back they are his personal thoughts, idk Anyways, I found this incredible, his thoughts about sexism, rape and racism, media, politics along with everything else fascinated me. He was also such a talented drawer. I loved the scribbled recipes next to his lyrics and everything. All in all this gave me an insight into a mind of an incredible musician and above all human being. Also, this rating isn't based upon the journals' content (after all, how can one rate someone's journals?) This is based on how this made me feel.

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